Monument Valley Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance and News and Notes


Note from the Principal:

Here is the great news: The educators at Monument Valley miss the students so much!  And how do you know?  They showed them.  Please watch this video to see the heartfelt connection that the staff have with our students:

We also are sending the video direct to the kids because the staff so love and miss them.  We would prefer to be at school doing school, and have to make do with what we have and where we are, but at least we can say, “We Miss You!!!”  Many thanks to Katie Malone-Smith, our art teacher, for leading this and producing the video, and of course to our staff for snapping the pics!

This next week is the beginning of the end of the school year.  We are starting to connect with the students in Advisory about what the end of the year will look like in the remote learning experience.  Mostly it will be finishing up content work and reinforcing skills, and some reflection on the year in total and this particular experience.  We want the kids to make sense of the journey we are taking, and be able to share who they are with next year’s teachers.  We are also planning some formal end of year activities such as graduation in eighth grade and celebrations in each grade.

This was another good week at MVM in the remote learning environment.  Kids completed work, connected with teachers, paras and peers, and had some fun with their school folks.  We continued to move into deepening the experience from just connecting and engaging.  Teachers will reach out to you if they have questions for families or need assistance engaging your child.  If you have questions about your child’s class, connect with the teacher.  If you have questions about your child’s overall experience, please reach out to their advisor.  If you have questions about the experience in general please reach out to me at as I am eager to get feedback and answer questions.  

 See below for the reminders about our remote learning experience, getting a ChromeBook if your child needs one, and information from our nurse and about opportunities to get food while the schools are closed.

 Thanks, and be well,

 Ben Doren



 Week at a Glance:

 Monday, May 18

Remote Learning School Day


Tuesday, May 19

Remote Learning School Day


Wednesday, May 20

Remote Learning School Day


Thursday, May 21

Remote Learning School Day


Friday, May 22

Remote Learning School Day


Spirit Week

The student council is sponsoring a spirit week for all of the students and staff at Monument Valley! During these hard times, we don’t want anyone to feel left out in our community. To upload your pictures, go to From there, click on the day and upload your picture and an optional caption. We would love it if as many people as possible participated! 


Monday: Crazy Sock day! Wear your favorite crazy socks.

Tuesday: Color picture day! Pick a color and try and fit as much of that color in a picture as possible. Use clothing, your surroundings, and props.

Wednesday: Fairytale day! Dress up as your favorite fairytale character.

Thursday: Spartan Day! Show school spirit by wearing maroon and white.

Friday: Fancy dress friday! Dress up in fancy clothes and send us a picture of you doing something ordinary in them, such as taking out the trash.


Attached is a flyer that explains what you can do each day of the week. _spirit week.pdf


Reminder about RECESS!!!!  Yes, even in our remote learning life there is a need.  I heard it from families at the Community Forums last week, and I keep hearing it from students… So…. I will be hosting weekly community meetings for each grade starting next week.  This will be a place for students to join me with their peers to have some informal social time.  I will have a few guiding questions for kids to get the conversation started (How are you doing? What do you like about this new way of schooling? What don’t you like? How do you want the school year to end? What do you want for next year? etc.).  And also just let kids connect outside of an academic setting.  Here are the times:

  • Fifth grade: Fridays at 11:00 am

  • Sixth grade: Fridays at 11:30 am

  • Seventh grade: Thursdays at 11:00 am

  • Eighth grade: Thursdays at 11:30 am

I tried to set it up this past week, but am still learning the system.  I did not set it up correctly, and students had trouble connecting.  I think I have fixed it so it works well for all students next week.   I will continue through the week of June 1.  The eighth grade sessions will also be focused on helping kids think about transition to the end of the year and middle school and the transition to high school.  I will send a link to the Google Hangout Meet for each grade at the start of next week to your child’s email address.  Participation is TOTALLY voluntary.  I just heard from you that kids want this, so here we go!



Yearbooks will arrive at the school in early June and at that time we will communicate to you how and when to pick yours up.  Since this year is certainly one that will be remembered for the current events, be sure you don’t forget about all of the wonderful events and memories of Monument Valley Regional Middle School’s entire 2019-2020 school year that the yearbook staff has worked so tirelessly to chronicle in this year’s yearbook. Part of the book is dedicated to our online distance learning!  We have sold 35% of the books we ordered from our publisher which means there are still limited-edition copies available and you can order yours here:  We will communicate more details about how students will receive their yearbook as soon as possible.


Reminder about getting items from school

Many families have asked about getting items from school during the closure.  If you want an instrument or an essential item like medication, please email me and we will prepare it for you to pick up.  We are not retrieving items from lockers right now, and will have a plan for locker clean out once the district knows when it is safe for students and families to return to the school building.


Reminder about Community Forum archives

I held Community Forums the week of April 27–5-6 Grade on Tuesday evening, and 7-8 Grade on Wednesday evening.  They were well attended, and I appreciated those who could join us.  I also recorded the sessions in video and audio formats so you can watch or listen if you could not join.  The videos and audio files are in a folder at this link.  I start the session by welcoming folks and celebrating what we have accomplished, and continue by acknowledging how hard it is to make sense of this school closure.  I discuss what will be happening in the next weeks and to end the year, and where the district is with end of year activities like graduation and transitioning to the next grade.  If you have specific questions feel free to email me, as always, at  I will also hold another set of forums in a few weeks once we have more information from Massachusetss and our local leaders.  


Reminder about Important (updated) news from our School Nurse

Please see the information posted on our School Nurse’s (Pat Harper) website  It has contact information so you can connect with her for health questions as well as get COVID-19 updates.


From the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office

The “Think Before You Click” campaign from the United States Attorney’s Office encourages parents and guardians to discuss internet safety with children of all ages and to continue to monitor internet use during this time of COVID-19.  Please see the flyer in the link to the flyer page below.


From the Office of the Child Advocate in Massachusetts

On behalf of Director Mossaides, I wanted to let you know about a public information campaign the Office of the Child Advocate is launching in partnership with UMass Medical, and request your assistance in spreading the word.  The information campaign is designed to make Massachusetts families aware of state resources that are available to them and encourage struggling families to reach out for help.   We have posted a series of graphics on this website ( that are available to be printed, emailed, and/or shared on social media. 



Would your child  like to borrow some books from the MVM Library?  We have arranged that Mrs. Kane can accept requests from students by Tuesday mornings at 9:00 and the books will be ready for you in paper bags for families to pick up on Wednesday mornings in the front circle.  Please have your child answer the brief questions about what books they would like in the attached form which has a link to our library’s Online Catalog, and a video to help you search it. This announcement will also be made via Google Classsroom.  Any questions?  E-mail Mrs. Kane at

 Library Book Request

 If you would like to purchase books from Scholastic Book Clubs, you may shop their collection online and order books which will be delivered to a teacher’s home and then brought to school for you to pick up.   Sign in at Scholastic Book Clubs.  5th grade families will use code #   H8ZR7 for Ms. Gillis’ bookclub.  Grades 6 to 8 families will use code # PDXDB for Mrs. Kane’s bookclub.  Scholastic offers a wide variety of books for all ages, with bargain books featured each month.  


2020-2021 School Calendar 

Many of you have asked about next year’s school calendar.  You can find it here:


3rd Quarter Report Cards

3rd Quarter Report Cards were emailed to families on Tuesday, April 21st.  Please email Debra Spence at if you did not receive your child’s report card and she will make sure to send it to you.


Reminder about getting a ChromeBook from the school

Here is how you can get a ChromeBook for your child if you need one: Families can come to Monument Valley to pick up a device at the times and days listed below. Families that cannot make it to Monument Valley can request a delivery to their home by emailing



  • EVERY Tuesday between 10:00 am and 11:30 am in the Monument Valley car loop in the front of the school.


Reminder about REMOTE LEARNING at MVM

Go to the Monument Valley Grade Teams and Exploratory Links webpage to launch learning! will get you there.  Just find your kid’s team, click the link and you are on your way.  There is also the link for the Exploratory classes.  I left all of the enrichment and other resources I had posted over the past two weeks at the bottom of the page in case you want to extend the learning experiences, and if you need resources to talk to your kids through these difficult times.  Also, your children have received emails from their teachers inviting them to join their Google Classrooms, which are also linked on the team web pages at the site link above.  At this point you should have had contact with your child’s Advisor, and possibly other staff from the school.  If not, please reach out to your child’s advisor, a school counselor or me.  We need to have all students connected.  ALL STUDENTS SHOULD CHECK THEIR SCHOOL EMAIL ( ACCOUNT EVERY DAY.  This is the way that teachers will communicate with their students.  


Reminder about Food Support available at the end of the week:

The District will be providing a week’s worth of food to families of our students in our district community every Friday.  These meals will be available to all students who would benefit from the service. Food will be distributed on FRIDAYS from 11:00am-2:00 pm ONLY AT THE MONUMENT VALLEY site.  If you need this resource and cannot pick up, we can deliver to you.  Email  if you are interested in receiving a box, or share this information with a family who needs a box.  At this time we can only distribute boxes of food to families with children in our district.  There are resources in towns for food support as well, such as the People’s Pantry in Great Barrington, for families or individuals who do not have children in our district.


Yearbooks are available for pre-order

You can order one at this link:





Flyers are available on our website at this link:


This week’s flyers:

  •  No new flyers this week

 Last week’s flyers:

  • Think Before you Click” Internet Safety Campaign

Older flyers:

  • Ward’s offering Free Tree Seedlings to Youth

  • GB Babe Ruth Baseball 2020 Registration

  • French & Spanish Immersion Camps for rising 4-6 graders

  • Berkshire Cal Ripken Baseball Registration

  • GB Girls Softball Registration

  • GB Little League Registration Information

  • CANCELLED–Family Dance at Unitarian Universalist Church

  • SMArt Summer @ Flying Cloud Institute

  • STEM Summer @Flying Cloud Institute

  • Outdoor Explorer’s Club @ Flying Cloud Institute

  • Eisner Day Camp

  • RSYP:  RYSE Weeklong Summer Program

Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
Monument Valley Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230